Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Migrate Magic eDeveloper, uniPaaS and Magic xpa to .NET

I'm starting a series of articles for those deciding between Magic eDeveloper or uniPaaS to .NET conversion by upgrading Magic eDeveloper or uniPaaS to machine code generators to C#, ASP or Java. The topic for today is developer productivity.


Superior Developer Productivity versus C#, ASP, or Java

Many longtime followers of the advantages of Magic development will recall that Magic developers repeatedly won the international development competitions of the 1990s. Not only did Magic teams win multiple years in a row, they also were winning every place in the contests. They had to stop having the contests because the advocates of defeated languages stopped showing up. Why bother? Magic developers had proven themselves superior in all respects.

Everyone knows that the environments for the development of business applications have grown increasingly complex in the two decades since those amazing victories. And while it is tempting for followers of C#, ASP and Java to try to put forth claims that they have caught up to Magic’s development capabilities. The reality is that the gap has widened. As environmental complexity has increased, the Magic paradigm of platform based metadata development has become even more essential to development efficiency.

To understand this, one needs to consider the COCOMO II Model of software estimation perfected at the USC Center for Software Engineering. (Go Trojans!) The COCOMO II model can be simplified as follows:


Effort = (Team) x (Tools) × (Complexity)(Process)


The concept is fairly simple. As you increase the number of developers (team), effort increases. As you increase the number of programming languages needed (tools), effort increases. And as you increase the functional requirements of the application to be delivered (Complexity), effort increases. The relationship between these three components of effort is factorial. Why do you think third party companies are offering so many different conversion paths for Magic (C#.NET, ASP.NET, Java, etc.)? Because to replace all of the development capabilities of Magic require not one new tool but an entirely new set of multiple tools. Migrating to .NET by converting to .NET with a code-generator instead of migrating to .NET with an upgrade to .NET with Magic xpa will create a bubble in the center of the COCMO II formula above the number of tools needed for enterprise application development goes from Magic xpa to:
  • C#.NET or Java J2EE for Server Side Apps
  • ASP.NET or Ruby on Rails or PHP for Web apps
  • Java J2ME for BlackBerry client apps
  • Java J2SE for Android client apps
  • Objective C for iPhone and iPad client apps
  • Microsoft Silverlight or Adobe Flex for RIA clients

Now consider that you can accomplish all of the above with one toolset: Magic xpa Application Platform. The Magic xpa Application Platform can create client-server apps; Web apps; BlackBerry, iOS, and Android mobile apps; and RIA apps. Magic xpa = all of the above. As a result, the value of “Tools” in the COCMO II model is 1. In essence, Magic xpa adds zero effort.

Lest you conclude that you should just stay with eDeveloper or some older version of Magic, however, let me remind you that Magic xpa is a huge improvement over eDeveloper. In essence, upgrading to Magic xpa brings the value of Tools to less than 1, further reducing effort.

Magic xpa introduces development productivity enhancements that dramatically decrease new function development time, and increase maintainability for existing functions. These are only a few examples of the many enhancements developers enjoy when using Magic xpa:

  • New IDE look and feel – By grouping dataview and logic statements under different tabs and allowing collapsible code snippets, developers find it easier to navigate the code
  • Functions – By enabling developers to create functions, developers can create cleaner and leaner code, increasing reutilization of code snippets.
  • Debugger – The new enhanced debugger allows stepping through code, adding break points, variable watches, and real time debugging, dramatically enhancing maintainability and bug fix delivery times.
  • XML integration – By exposing XML files as data sources, Magic xpa enables developers to consume and provide web services, completely removing the need to read, write and analyze XML files.
  • The Project File – Magic xpa utilizes XML source files. This creates a faster development environment, eliminates the need for a RDMS system to manage code, and enables usage of standard version control systems.
  • Web Services – Magic xpa differs from eDeveloper in the way it implements and consumes web services, to facilitate an enhanced web service offering Magic xpa leverages Web Services standards for SOAP and RESTful Web Services.
  • SubForms – The subform is a new UI control in Magic xpa which revolutionized the way developers create, develop, design and call subtasks.
  • Argument Matching – Magic xpa has full argument matching on task calls and automatic parameter creation on event handlers which eliminate code syntax errors
  • Line Level Comments – Allow eliminating inline documentation, therefore enabling cleaner and more readable code without forgoing documentation and allowing hint and developer help creation,
  • Studio and Runtime Separation – Allows developers to test application crashes without breaking the development studio therefore creating stronger and more robust applications.
  • Multi Tasking – By allowing parallel execution of programs, Magic xpa allows developers to create a productive user interface for application customers.
  • .NET Controls – Magic xpa is fully .NET based therefore creating a better looking and native looking user interface for the application customers.

For additional information on how an upgrade to Magic xpa is superior to Magic eDeveloper or uniPaaS to .NET conversion please convert here.



Glenn Johnson is a Senior Vice President at Magic Software Enterprises, Inc. Active in the software industry since 1984, he frequently speaks at industry conferences and writes for numerous publications.